Medieval Era (600-1450) I. Music of the Medieval World (“When God saw that many men were lazy, and gave themselves only with difficulty to spiritual reading, He wished to make it easy for them, and added the melody to the Prophet’s words, that all being rejoiced by the charm of music, should sing hymns to Him with gladness. ” -St. John Chrysostom [345-407]. 1:53) * A. Sacred Music (Gregorian Chant) o 1. An assemblage of a body of music into an organized liturgy associated with Pope Gregory the Great (reigned from 590-604. ) 1:53 o 2. Like the music of the Greeks and Hebrews [Jewish Shabat, Jewish service] from which it descended, Gregorian chant (also known as plainchant or plainsong) consists of a single-line melody. ” 1:53 o 3. “It is monophonic in texture and lacks dimension of harmony and counterpoint. ” 1:53 o 4. The Gregorian melodies, number more than 3,000 (three thousand). 1:53 o 5. “Gregorian chant avoids wide leaps and dynamic contrasts. ” 1:53 o 6. Gregorian chant resembles a prayer on pitch. 1:53 o 7. At first, Gregorian chants were handed down orally. 1:53 o 8. As the number of chants increased, singers needed to be reminded of the general outlines of the different melodies. ” 1:53 o 9. Neumes, little ascending and descending signs that were first written above words to suggest the contour of the melody, were created. 1:54 o 10. “This developed into a musical notation with square notes on a four-line staff. ” 1:54, illus. 1:55 o 11. There were three different text settings: + a. Syllabic: one note to each syllable. + b. Neumatic: two-four notes to a syllable. + c. Melismatic: many notes to a syllable (descended from the improvisations of the Orient. * B. The Mass o 1. “The Mass is the most solemn ritual of the Roman Catholic Church. ” 1:54 o 2. It constitutes a reenactment of the sacrifice or teaching of Christ. 1:54 o 3. From Latin Missa=dismissal (of the congregation at the end of the service. ) 1:54 o 4. The prayers that make up the mass fall into two categories 1:54 (chart on 1:72): + a. The Proper: varying from day to day dependent upon the particular feast (of Saints) celebrated. 1:54 + b. The Ordinary: remain the same throughout the year. 1:54 # 1. Kyrie (prayer for mercy) 1:71 # 2.
Gloria (“Glory to God in the Highest”) 1:71 # 3. Credo (“I believe in one God, the Almighty Father”) 1:71 # 4. Sanctus (“Holy, Holy, Holy”) 1:71 # 5. Agnus Dei (“Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world”) 1:71 * C. The Rise of Polyphony (two or more simultaneous melodic lines) o 1. “The earliest kind of polyphonic music was called organum. ” 1:56 o 2. Organum “developed when the custom arose of adding to the Gregorian melody a second voice that paralleled the plainchant at an interval of a fifth or fourth above or below” the original line. :56 o 3. “In the forefront of this development were the composers whose center was the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris (France) during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. ” 1:56 o 4. Leonin is the first composer of polyphonic music whose name is known to us who was connected to the Cathedral of Notre Dame. 1:56 o 5. Leonin wrote in two parts. 1:56 o 6. Composers of organum based their pieces on preexisting Gregorian chant. 1:56 o 7. Perotin (followed Leonin) wrote in three and four parts. 1:56 o 8. Toward the end of Perotin’s life, clerics began composing new texts for the previously textless upper voices of organum” called Trops. 1:56 o 9. The addition of these texts resulted in the [Medieval] motet. 1:56 o 10. The [Medieval] motet consisted of a previous plainchant melody to which a second, third, or fourth countermelody (a melody heard against another melody) was added. 1:56 o 11. “In the [Medieval] motet, a sacred text might be combined with a quite secular–(even dirty)–one. ” 1:57 * D. Guillaume de Machaut and the French Ars Nova Motet o 1.
Two styles of music emerged in the 14th century: 1:59 + A. The Ars Nova: new, refined style. 1:59 + B. The Ars Antiqua: old, un-refined style. 1:59 o 2. The Ars Nova’s “outstanding figure was the French composer-poet Guillaume de Machaut (early- and mid-14th century) 1:59 o 3. Guillaume de Machaut was “one of the greatest and last [troubador], poet and musician at the same time. Lays, virelays and rounds, before becoming polyphonic compositions were also written for one voice. ” CD book: Les Musiciens de Provence: Instruments Anciens. o 4. The breakdown of a [Medieval] motet: 1:159 + a. Triplum: top voice. b. Duplum: middle voice. + c. Tenor (from Latin tenere [Spanish tener]=to hold): long notes on bottom. o 5. Repeating phrase: ostinato 1:59 o 6. i. e. of #4 & 5: Machaut’s Hareu! hareu! le feu–Hellas! –Obediens. 1:60-61 (text) o 7. “Half-blind, crippled by gout and almost sixty years of age, Machaut received a letter from a teenaged girl of noble ancestry, Peronelle d’Armantieres, ‘She who has never seen you loves you faithfully and gives you all her heart. ‘ She considered to join him on a pilgrimage but Machaut dreaded the meeting with her, fearing she would be repelled by his physical decrepitude. They sat together beneath a cherry tree. She fell asleep, her head upon his lap. Machaut’s secretary approached, placed a leaf upon her lips and beckoned him to bend down and kiss it: then he removed the leaf… At Mass they kissed again, secretly behind a pillar. “On a subsequent pilgrimage, Machaut took Peronelle to an inn in the heat of the day. Her sister-in-law, who went along as chaperone, occupied one bed in the room. Machaut shared the other with his beloved and her maid. Peronelle urgently demanded more kisses. Machaut was bashful, protective of her honor, but finally succumbed to her desires. Soon afterwards Peronelle was given in marriage to a young man. In his lonely old age, Machaut celebrated their love in a poem ‘Voir Dit’ [To see words]. 2:3 * E. Secular Music of the Jongleurs and Troubadors o 1. “Alongside the learned or art music of the cathedrals and choir schools there sprang up a popular literature of songs and dances that reflected every aspect of Medieval life. ” 1:57 o 2. Typical of the songs are the student or Goliard songs of the period which sing of the the “joys of the bottle, the impermanence of love, the beauty of springtime, and the cruelty of fate. 1:57 o 3. “The jongleurs emerged as a class of musicians who wandered among the courts and towns. ” 1:57 o 4. “They were versatile entertainers who played instruments, sang and danced, juggled and showed tricks along with animal acts, and performed plays. ” (akin to street musicians today. ) 1:57 o 5. “These actor-singers were viewed as little better than vagabonds and thus lived on the fringe of society. ” 1:57 o 6. “Secular music became an [important] part of Medieval court life, supplying the necessary accompaniment for dancing, dinner, and after-dinner entertainment. 1:58 o 7. “The poems of the troubador… ranged from simple ballads to love songs, political and moral ditties, war songs, laments, and dance songs. ” 1:58 * F. Early Instruments and Instrumental Music o 1. “Unlike the ‘learned’ vocal music of church and court, instrumental music was rarely written down; rather [much of it which was not passed down aurally] it was improvised, much like jazz. 1:62 o 2. Early instruments used in Medieval times: + a. Recorder (end blown flute) 1:62 + b. Lute (plucked string instrument with rounded back. ) 1:62 + c.
Rebec and Vielle (bowed instruments) 1:62 + d. Shawm (early oboe) 1:62 + e. Trumpet: # 1. Natural (non-chromatic, one overtone series) # 2. Slide Trumpet (chromatic, movable slide) 1:62 + f. Sackbut (early trombone) 1:62 + g. Naker (small drum) 1:62 + h. Tabor (large, cylindrical drum) 1:62 + i. Organ (various sizes: small to large) 1:62 o 3. “Of purely instrumental pieces left to us from the Middle Ages, most are simple monophonic [one voice] dance melodies. 1:62 o 4. “One common type was the saltarello, a lively Italian ‘jumping’ dance. ” 1:62 5. The melodies reflect the “skeletal framework from which Medieval musicians performed, adding embellishments or melodic decorations to the written music over an improvised percussion accompaniment and possibly a drone, a sustained single note commonly used in folk music around the world. ” 1:62 Renaissance Era (1450-1600) I. The Renaissance Spirit * A. The Arts in the Renaissance o 1. “What the Renaissance does mark is the passing of the European society from an exclusively religious orientation to a more secular one; from an age of unquestioning faith and mysticism to one of belief in reason and scientific inquiry. 1:64 o 2. “The Renaissance painter preferred realism to allegory and psychological characterizations to stylized stereotypes. These characteristics are exemplified in [works] by Leonardo da Vinci. ” 1:65 o 3. “The development of the compass made possible the voyages of discovery that opened up a new world and demolished old superstitions. ” 1:66 o 4. “The revival of ancient letters was associated with the humanists, and was spurred by the introduction of printing. ” 1:66 o 5. “The Renaissance came to flower in the nation that stood closest to the classical Roman Culture [predominantly Italy. ” 1:67 + a. Donatello + b. Botticelli + c. Leonardo da Vinci + d. Michelangelo + e. Raphael o 6. “From the multicolored tapestry of Renaissance life emerge figures that have captured the imagination of the world. ” 1:67 + a. Erasmus + b. Martin Luther + c. Machiavelli + d. Galileo + e. Cervantes + f. Marlowe + g. Shakespeare o 7. “Life during the Renaissance was surrounded with reminders of death, often brutish death. There were plagues and pestilences, smallpox to disfigure and the Black Death to kill.
Law was enforced by death penalties for hundreds of offenses large and small: the kind of death varied according to the kind of offense, ranging from beheading, hanging, drawing and quartering to burning at the stake. For milder offenses a man might have his hand cut off with a butcher’s cleaver and the stump seared with a red-hot iron to stanch the flow of blood. Small wonder that the enjoyment of secular life’s delights is celebrated with so much gusto in Renaissance music, while its religious music so fervently prays for divine intercession against the perils of this world or robustly delivers thanks for being spared. 4:11 * B. The Musician in Renaissance Society o 1. “Throwing off its Medieval mysticism, music moved toward clarity, simplicity, and a frankly sensuous appeal. ” 1:67 o 2. “Musicians of the sixteenth century were supported by the chief institutions of their society–the Church, city, and state; royal and aristocratic courts. ” 1:67 o 3. Musicians found different opportunities for employment: 1:67 + a. Choirmaster + b. Singer + c. Organist + d. Instrumentalist + e. Copyist + f. Composer + g.
Teacher + h. Instrument Builder + i. Music Printer + j. Publisher II. Renaissance Music * A. Renaissance Musical Style o 1. “The Renaissance achieved an exquisite appreciation of a cappella music (a vocal work without instrumental accompaniment). ” 1:68 o 2. A popular technique was imitative polyphony (musical motives wandering from vocal line to vocal line within the texture imitating one another so that the same theme or motive was heard now in one voice, then in another, and so on throughout the piece. ) 1:68 o 3. Secular music,… was divided between purely vocal works and those in which the singers were supported by instruments. ” 1:68 o 4. The Renaissance leaned toward fuller chords, utilizing thirds and sixths (instead of mainly parallel fifths and octaves favored by Medieval composers) and more uses of dissonance. 1:68 o 5. Word painting was often used as a device to musically depict words or fragments of the text (such as dissonance with the word death, ascending lines with the word “Heaven”, descending lines with the word “Sigh. “) 1:68 o 6.
Composers often used a cantus firmus, or fixed melody, in their works (“usually of very long notes and based on a fragment of Gregorian chant that served as the structural basis for a polyphonic composition. “) 1:68, 340 o 7. Music played an important role in the Church: “There were several types of music for church services in addition to the monophonic Gregorian Chant, such as polyphonic settings of the Mass, motets, and hymns. ” 1:69 * B. Sacred (Church) Music: The Motet o 1. “The Renaissance motet now became a sacred form with a single Latin text, for use in the Mass and other religious services. 1:69 o 2. “These works were in three or four voices, sometimes based on a chant or other cantus firmus. ” 1:69 * C. Guillaume Dufay o 1. “In the music of Dufay and his Burgundian colleagues, the rhythmic complexities of fourteenth-century music were abandoned in favor of an uncomplicated, more accessible style. ” 1:69 o 2. “The meandering vocal lines of the past were replaced by well-defined melodies and clear-cut rhythms, with something of the charm of folksong. ” 1:69 o 3. Dufay is predominantly remembered for his motets. 1:69 o 4. . e. of #3: Dufay’s Alma redemptoris mater. 1:70 (text) * D. The Renaissance Mass, Josquin Desprez, and the Gabrielis o 1. “With the rise of polyphony, composers concentrated their musical settings on the invariable portion of the Mass that was sung daily, known as the Ordinary. ” 1:71 o 2. “Thus came into prominence the five sections known as the musical setting of the Mass: Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, and Agnus Dei. ” 1:71 o 3. “Like the motet, the polyphonic setting of the Mass was usually based on a fragment of Gregorian chant. 1:72 o 4. “This became the cantus firmus that served as the foundation of the work. ” 1:72 o 5. “Perhaps the greatest master of the Renaissance mass was the Franco-Flemish composer Jospuin Desprez (mid-15th and early-16th century). ” 1:72 o 6. “Josquin composed at least seventeen complete settings of the Mass. ” 1:72 o 7. “Louis XII [of France] is said to have had a very inadequate voice. He had formerly been pleased by some song and asked Josquin if there was anyone who would compose a song in several voices in which he could also sing some part.
The singer, wondering at the demand of the King, whom he knew to be entirely ignorant of music, hesitated awhile and finally decided what he would answer. ‘My King,’ he said, ‘I shall compose a song in which your Majesty will also be given a place in the singing. ‘ The following day, after the King had had breakfast and was to be refreshed with songs according to royal custom, the singer produced his song composed in four parts. In it I do not approve the skill of his art so much as I praise industry joined with art.
For he had composed the song so that two boys would sing the upper part very lightly and delicately in canon, evidently so that the exceedingly thin voice of the King would not be drowned out. He had given the King the next part, consisting of one continuous tone in the alto range, a range suitable to the royal voice. Not content with this device, and so that the King would not waver in pitch, the composer, who was to sing the bass, arranged this part so that at regular intervals he would be supporting the King at the octave.
The King laughed merrily at the trick and gladly dismissed the composer with a present and with the desired favor. ” 2:3-4 o 8. “When Josquin was first admitted into the service of Lewis [Louis] he had been promised a benefice. But this prince, contrary to his usual custom, for he was in general both just and liberal, forgot. Josquin, after suffering great inconvenience from the shortness of his Majesty’s memory, ventured to remind him publicly of his promise. Being commanded to compose a motet for the Chapel Royal, he chose part of the 119th Psalm: ‘(Oh think of thy servant, as concerning thy word)’.
The King was not only charmed with the music, but felt the force of the words so effectually, that he soon after granted him the promised preferment. For which act of justice and munificence, Josquin, with equal felicity, composed as a hymn of gratitude another part of the same psalm, ‘(Oh Lord, thou hast dealt graciously with thy servant)’. ” 2:4 o 9. Of importance is the St. Mark’s Cathedral in Venice, Italy where Andrea Gabrieli and later, his nephew, Giovanni Gabrieli were both choir masters during the mid- and late- 16th century. 10. Andrea Gabrieli “boldly experimented in the use of widely spaced choirs–not merely two, but three and even four choirs, each one complete and yet each having its own particular range. ” This spaced out choir setup is called antiphonal. 4:38 o 11. Giovanni Gabrieli “surpassed both uncle and teacher by adding independent parts for strings and brass to choral textures that had formerly been supported or ‘doubled’ by instruments on a rather haphazard basis. ” 4:38 * E.
Martin Luther, the Reformation, and the Counter Reformation o 1. “After the revolt of Martin Luther (early-16th century) the desire for a return to true Christian piety brought about a reform movement in the Catholic Church. ” 1:73 o 2. The Reformation of the 16th century was a movement within Western Christendom to purge the church of medieval abuses and to restore the doctrines and practices that the reformers believed conformed with the Bible and the New Testament model of the church.
This led to a breach between the ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH and the reformers whose beliefs and practices came to be called Protestantism. o 3. “When Martin Luther tacked his 95 thesis to the door of Wittenburg Castle Church in 1517 he was attacking the centuries-old abuses of the Catholic Church–most spectacularly the blatant sale of indulgences that facilitated the owner’s direct passage into Paradise or answered his prayers for relieving his dead relatives’ sufferings in Purgatory. 4:9 o 4. Luther insisted that “the clergy marry and share the life of the laity, that ritual be simplified, that church services be held in the [native language] and the congregation join in the singing, [and] that the final authority on all religious questions be the Bible as interpreted by the individual Christian. ” 4:9 o 5. “This movement became part of the Counter Reformation whereby the Church strove to recapture the minds of its people. ” 1:73 o 6.
The Counter-Reformation was the movement within the Roman Catholic church in the 16th and 17th centuries that tried to eliminate abuses within that church and to respond to the Protestant REFORMATION which led to the INQUISITION and the Index of Forbidden Books. o 7. The Council of Trent was established [by the Roman Catholic church] in response to the counter reformation which sought to reestablish or correct social, state, and church trends. 1:73 o 8. “In its desire to regulate every aspect of religious discipline, the Council took up the matter of church music. ” 1:73 o 9. The cardinals were much more concerned over the corruption of the traditional chant by the singers, who added all manner of embellishments to the Gregorian melodies. ” 1:73 o 10. “They objected to the use of instruments other than the organ in religious services, to the practice of incorporating popular songs in Masses, to the secular spirit that was invading sacred music, and to the generally irreverent attitude of the church musicians. ” 1:73 o 11. “They pointed out that in polyphonic settings of the Mass the sacred text was made unintelligible by the overelaborate contrapuntal texture. 1:73 o 12. “The authorities favored a pure vocal style that would respect the integrity of the sacred texts, that would avoid virtuosity and encourage piety. ” 1:73 * F. Giovanni Peirluigi de Palestrina o 1. “Giovanni Pierluigi, called da Palestrina after his birthplace (mid- and late-16th century), met the need for a reformed church music in so exemplary a fashion that for posterity he has remained the Catholic composer. ” 1:73 o 2. “Palestrina wrote over a hundred Masses, of which the most famous is the mass for Pope Marcellus, one of his patrons. 1:73 o 3. “It is… believed that this Mass was written to satisfy the new strict demands placed on polyphonic church music by the Council of Trent. ” 1:73 o 4. “It was written for six voice parts–soprano, alto, two tenors, and two basses… .” 1:73 o 5. With Palestrina it was customary for a composer to pay musical tribute to an admired contemporary by writing a new work based on something composed by the other. There was no trace of plagiarism here, but rather an earnest desire to pay tribute to the original composer. * G.
Secular Music in Court and City Life o 1. “With the rise of the middle class, music making in the home became increasingly popular. ” 1:75 o 2. “Most middle- and upper-class homes had a lute or a keyboard instrument. ” 1:75 o 3. “From the union of poetry and music came two important secular forms [of music]: the [French] chanson and the [Italian and English] madrigal. ” 1:76 o 4. “The fifteenth-century chanson was the characteristic genre at the court of the dukes of Burgundy and the kings of France. ” 1:76 o 5.
The chanson was “usually for three voices, with one or both lower voices played by instruments. ” 1:76 o 6. “The Renaissance chanson culminates in the towering figure of Roland de Lassus (mid- and late-16th century). ” 1:76 o 7. Roland de Lassus (Orlando di Lasso) was a great 16th century writer of polyphony: 2:5 + a. 200 Italian madrigals + b. 146 French chansons + c. 93 German lieder + d. 500 Latin motets o 8. “A violent storm occurred at Munich [Germany] on the Thursday of [a great celebration] for the Duke gave orders that the customary procession round the town from the church of St.
Peter should be confined to the interior of the building. But no sooner had the head of the procession reached the front of the church, and the choir was heard singing the first notes of Lassus’ motet ‘Gustate, vedete’, than a sudden lull occurred in the storm, and the ceremony was performed as usual. This was looked upon as a miracle and the people of Munich ‘in their pious enthusiasm looked upon Lassus as a divine being’. Afterwards, whenever fine weather was an object, this motet was chosen. ” 2:5 o 9.
Roland de Lassus “began [his career] with that soul-melting attribute, a clear, pure and beautiful choirboy voice;” and on more than one occasion was “tempted away from his local church” to sing for others. “Twice his anxious parents sought him out and brought him home, but the third offer caused them to give way. ” 4:30 * H. The Italian Madrigal: Monteverdi o 1. The Italian madrigal was an “aristocratic form of poetry-and-music” usually based on a “short poem of lyric or reflective character, rarely longer than twelve lines, marked by elegance of diction and refinement of sentiment. ” 1:77 o 2. Conspicuous in it were the affecting words for weeping, sighing, trembling, dying that the Italian madrigalists learned to set with such a wealth of expression [word painting]. ” 1:77 o 3. “Instruments participated, duplicating or even substituting for the voices. ” 1:78 o 4. “It was in the art of Claudio Monteverdi (mid-16th through mid-17th century) that the late Renaissance madrigal came to full flower. ” 1:78 o 5. Monteverdi “originated what he called the stile concitato (agitated style), introducing such novel sound-effects as the string tremolo and pizicato as symbols of passion. 1:78 o 6. “The madrigal was temporarily displaced in Monteverdi’s life by a new kind of music that was all the rage in Florence: Instead of serving the drama by providing short interludes, music had now taken over the drama itself, and entire plays were being set to continuous music, solo, choral, and instrumental–in other words, the newfangled opera. ” (i. e. : Monteverdi’s La Favola d’Orfeo) 4:39 o 7. “Finally convinced of the innate meanness of the Mantua court, [with only the money in his pockets], he left in 1612 to take up the appointment of [choir master] at St.
Marks in Venice [Italy]. ” 4:44 * I. The Italian Madrigal: Gesualdo o 1. Don Carlo Gesualdo (mid- and late- 16th century) was an “Italian madrigalist and murderer, both occupations emotionally interlinked: ‘It was not until Gesualdo gave up murder that he seriously took to composing. ‘” 2:8 o 2. “Gesualdo married his cousin Donna Maria d’Avalos, who at the age of 25 had married twice before already. ” 3:17 o 3. “One day in October, Gesualdo told his wife he was going out hunting and made a big show of riding off to the country. He had told her not to expect him home that night.
She knew a good chance when she saw one and invited Carafa [her lover] to come over. … That night Gesualdo returned secretly to the palace and caught his wife in bed with her lover. He shot them both and then stabbed them a few times for good measure. … Not only did Gesualdo kill his wife and her lover, he also killed their small baby. … Gesualdo [did not find rest] ‘unless ten or twelve men, whom he kept specially for the purpose, were to beat him violently three times a day, during which operation he was wont to smile joyfully. ‘” 3:18-20 o 4.
Gesualdo’s “last two books of madrigals as well as much of his church music belong to that mysterious realm of Renaissance exploration in the uncharted chromatic areas offering a constant challenge to singers and instrumentalists alike. ” 4:39 * J. The English Madrigal and Opera o 1. “Just as English poets took over the Italian sonnet, so the composers of England adopted the Italian madrigal and developed it into a native art form. ” 1:80 o 2. “The first collection of Italian madrigals published in England appeared in [the late-16th century] and was called Musica transalpina–Music from beyond the Alps. 1:81 o 3. “The Renaissance madrigal impelled composers to develop new techniques of combining music and poetry. In doing so it prepared the way for one of the most influential forms of Western music–the opera. ” 1:81 o 4. Opera “made opulent use of the new style of singing–a virtuoso style enabling artists to project, act out and ornament the vocal line as they went along. It afforded frequent opportunities for choral singing and dancing and or sonorous and colorful instrumental interludes.
Last but by no means least, it gave the scenic designer a novel and exciting vehicle for the exercise of [their] skill. ” 4:40 * K. English Music: Tallis, and Byrd o 1. Thomas Tallis (early- and mid-16th Century) was an organist and composer in England whose works included church music and secular pieces for vocals and keyboard. o 2. “He was granted a monopoly in music printing with William Byrd. ” 4:28 o 3. The license for printing music and music paper “did them little financial good, however, since the copying of music by hand was so widespread and inexpensive that printed music sold hardly at all. 4:28 o 4. William Byrd (mid-16th through early-17th century) was an organist and composer who mastered Renaissance polyphony, and excelled in writing church music. o 5. “Tallis, throughout his long life, found little to interest him in secular music, Byrd wrote songs and madrigals, stage music, instrumental pieces for consort [families] of viols, fantasies and variations for organ or virginal. ” 4:28 * L. Instrumental Dance Music o 1. “The sixteenth century witnessed a remarkable flowering of instrumental dance music. ” 1:81 o 2. The dances were often fashioned from vocal works such as madrigals and chansons, and were published in simplified four-part versions that were played instead of sung. ” 1:81 o 3. “The stately court dance known as the pavane often served as the first number of a set and was followed by one or more quicker dances, especially the Italian saltarello and the French galliard. ” 1:81 o 4. “Less courtly was the ronde or round dance, a lively romp associated with the outdoors in which the participants formed a circle. ” o 5. It was through dance pieces such as these that Renaissance composers explored the possibilities of purely instrumental forms. From these humble beginnings sprang the imposing structures of Western instrumental music. ” 1:81 o 6. Eventually, from instrumental dance music came the popular form of the ballet. Notes: 1. Machlis, Joseph. The Enjoyment of Music. New York: W. W. Norton & Co. 1991. 2. Lebrecht, Norman. The Book of Musical Anecdotes. New York: The Free Press. 1985. 3. Barber, David. Bach, Beethoven and the Boys: Music History as it Ought to be Taught. Toronto: Sound and Vision. 1986. 4.
Stevens, Denis. From the Renaissance. New York: Time Incorporated. 1967. Baroque (1600-1750) A Comparison of Renaissance and Baroque Styles 1:84 RENAISSANCE: Dufay, Josquin, Palestrina, Monteverdi Modal harmony Imitative polyphony, multi-voiced A-cappella vocal music Religious vocal forms dominant: mass and motet Secular vocal forms: chanson, madrigal Instrumental forms beginning, derived from vocal Instruments unspecified Works built on pre-existant melody (cantus firmus) Performances at church and court BAROQUE: Purcell, Vivaldi, Handel, Bach Major and minor tonality New monodic or solo style; one voice accompaniment
Concerted music (voices and instruments) New religious vocal forms: oratorio, cantata Secular vocal forms: opera, cantata, masque Instrumental forms developing: sonata, concerto grosso, forms: dance music sinfonia, suite Specified instruments Freely and newly composed works Rise of public theaters I. The Baroque Spirit (“I do not know what I may appear to the world; but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore, and diverting myself in [the] now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me. -Sir Isaac Newton [1642-1727]. 1:95) * A. The Baroque era “opened shortly before the year 1600, a convenient signpost that need not be taken too literally, and may be regarded as having come to a close with the death of Bach in 1750. ” 1:95 * B. “The conquest of the New World stirred the imagination and filled the [bills] of the Old. The middle classes gathered wealth and power in their struggle against the aristocracy. Empires clashed for mastery of the world. Appalling poverty and wasteful luxury, magnificent idealism and savage oppression [marked lives during this era]. 1:95 * C. “Rulers throughout Europe took as their model the splendor of the French court at Versailles. Louis XIV’s famous “I am the State” summed up a way of life in which all art and culture served the cult of the ruler. Courts large and small maintained elaborate musical establishments including opera troupes, chapel choirs, and orchestras. ” 1:96 * D. While the upper class flourished as a cult-like organization “the middle classes created a culture of their own. Their music making centered on the home, the church, and the university group.
For them cam into being the comic opera which, like the prose novel, was filled with keen and witty observation of life. ” 1:97 * E. “The Baroque was an intensely devout period. Religion was a rallying cry on some of the bloodiest battlefields in history. ” 1:97 * F. All art forms in the Baroque “achieved [their] ends through violent opposition of forces, lavish creativity, and emotional abandon. ” 1:98 II. Main Currents in Baroque Music (“The end of all good music is to affect the soul. ” -Claudio Monteverdi) 1:98 A. Origins of the Monodic Style o 1. “With the transition from Renaissance to Baroque came a momentous change: the shifting of interest from a texture of several independent parts to music in which a single melody predominated; that is, from polyphonic to homophonic texture. The new style, which originated in vocal music, was named monody–literally, “one song,” music for one singer with instrumental accompaniment. The year 1600 is associated with the emergence of the monodic style. ” 1:99 o 2. The victory of the monodic style was achieved by a group of Florentine writers, artists, and musicians known as the Camerata [who’s] aim was to resurrect the musical-dramatic art of ancient Greece. Since almost nothing was known of ancient music, the Camerata instead cam forth with an idea that was very much [new and of the time. ]” 1:99 o 3. From the concepts of monody “came into being what its inventors regarded as the (representational style), consisting of a vocal line that moved freely over a foundation of simple chords. 1:99 o 4. The early 1600’s, like the early 1900’s bristled with discussions about the new and expressive style. Soon, composers realized that “this representational style could be applied not only to a poem but to an entire drama. In this way they were led to what many regard as the single most important achievement of Baroque music–the invention of the opera. ” 1:99 * B. New Harmonic Structures o 1. “Since musicians were familiar with the basic harmony, it was unnecessary to write the chords out in full.
Instead the composer put a numeral, indicating the chord required, above or below the bass note. The application of this principle on a large scale resulted in the figured bass or thorough-bass (from basso continuo, a continuous bass, “thorough” being the old form of “through”). ” 1:99 o 2. The basso continuo “required at least two players: one to perform the bass line on a sustaining instrument–cello or bassoon–and the other to fill in or “realize” the chords on an instrument capable of harmony, such as a harpsichord or organ, a guitar or lute. 1:99 o 3. “The Baroque witnessed one of the most significant changes in all music history: the transition from the Medieval church modes to major-minor tonality. With the establishment of major-minor tonality, the thrust to the keynote or tonic became the most powerful force in music. ” 1:100 o 4. “Composers of the Baroque soon learned to exploit the opposition between the chord of rest, the I (tonic), and the active chord, the V (dominant).
So, too, the movement from home key to contrasting key and back [called modulation] became an important element in the shaping of musical structure. ” 1:100 o 5. “Due to a curious quirk of nature, keyboard instruments tuned according to the scientific laws of acoustics [first discovered in ancient Greece] give a pure sound in some keys but increasingly out-of-tune intervals in others. As instrumental music acquired greater prominence, it became more and more important to be able to play in all the keys; thus a variety of tuning systems were developed. ” 1:100 o 6. In the seventeenth century, a discovery was made: by slightly mistuning the intervals within the octave–and thereby spreading the discrepancy evenly among all the tones–it became possible to play in every major and minor key without [unpleasant] results. This tuning adjustment is known as equal temperament. ” 1:101 o 7. ““Johann Sebastian Bach,… demonstrated that he could write in every one of the twelve major and twelve minor keys… [resulting in] The Well-Tempered Clavier, a two-volume collection, each containing twenty-four preludes and fugues, or one in every possible key. ” 1:101 * C. Baroque Musical Style o 1. The Baroque, with its fondness for energetic movement, demanded a vigorous rhythm on the regular recurrence of accent. … This steady pulsation, once under way, never slackens or deviates until the goal is reached. ” 1:101 o 2. One technique in creating this steady pulsation is the musical device called a ground bass or ostinato (not to be confused with figured bass or thorough-bass) which refers to a musical phrase “repeated over and over in the lower voice while the upper voices pursue their independent course. ” 1:107 o 3. “Baroque music does not know the constant fluctuation of volume that marks later styles.
A passage uniformly loud will be followed by one uniformly soft, creating the effect of light and shade… known as terraced dynamics. ” 1:101 o 4. “The music of the period carries little else than an occasional forte or piano leaving it to the player to supply whatever else may be necessary. ” 1:101 * D. The Rise of the Virtuoso Musician o 1. “The heightened interest in instruments in the Baroque era went hand in hand with the need to master their technique. There followed a dramatic rise in the standards of playing, which paralleled the design improvements introduced by the great builders of instruments in Italy and Germany. 1:102 o 2. “The advance in vocal virtuosity was much encouraged by the rise of the castrato, the artificial male soprano or alto who dominated the operatic scene of the early eighteenth century. Such singers were castrated during their boyhood in order to preserve the soprano or alto register of their voices for the rest of their lives. ” 1:102 o 3. “Improvisation played an important role in Baroque music. Singers and players alike added their own embellishments to what was written down (as is the custom today in jazz. )” 1:102 o 4.
Baroque musicians and composers “were employed by courts, towns, churches, or opera houses. ” 1:103 o 5. They frequently used their abilities for “specific occasions–a royal wedding or a religious service, for example–and for immediate use: in a word, for communication. ” 1:103 * E. The Doctrine of the Affections o 1. “The doctrine of the affections related to the union of music and poetry, where the mental and emotional state was made explicit by the text. ” 1:102 o 2. Essentially, the doctrine of the affections is the belief that the aim of music is to excite or move the passions. :341 o 3. “In instrumental music the practice took root of building a piece on a single mood. ” 1:103 II. I Vocal Music of the Baroque: Baroque Opera * A. Components of Opera o 1. “An opera is a drama that is sung. It combines the resources of vocal and instrumental music–soloists, ensembles, chorus, orchestra, and sometimes ballet–with poetry and drama, acting and pantomime, scenery and costumes. ” 1:104 o 2. “Explanations necessary to plot and action are generally presented in a kind of musical declamation know as recitative. This distinct vocal style,… mitates the natural inflections of speech; its rhythm is curved to the rhythm of the language. ” 1:104 o 3. “The aria is a song, generally of a highly emotional kind” usually sung as a solo or duet. 1:104 o 4. The chorus are “ensemble numbers–trios, quartets, quintets, and so on–in which the characters pour out their respective feelings. ” 1:105 o 5. “An opera usually begins with an instrumental number, known as the overture, which may introduce melodies from arias to come. Each act of the opera normally has an orchestral introduction, and interludes may occur between scenes as well. 1:105 o 6. A formative Italian operatic composer was Claudio Monteverdi (see Renaissance: The Italian Madrigal: Monteverdi) o 7. “[Monteverdi] went so far as to develop a whole new style of music, which marked the beginning of opera. His music drama Orfeo, of 1607, could be considered the first true opera, although the idea had come from the earlier writings of Vincenzo Galilei (father of the astronomer Galileo), who was the champion of what he called the ‘representative style. ‘ Galilei thought that this style of composition was a return to the ancient Greek ideals of music.
He had no proof for this theory, since he had no real indication of what Greek music sounded like. But the idea sounded impressive. ” 3:39 * B. Opera in England and Henry Purcell o 1. A special form of aristocratic entertainment called a masque which combined vocal and instrumental music with poetry and dance (therefore resembling an opera) “emerged into prominence” during the early part of the 17th century. “Many masques were presented privately in the homes of the nobility. ” o 2. Henry Purcell (mid- and late-17th century) was a famous English composer notable for his operas.
He is considered “England’s last significant composer for the next two hundred years, [who] wrote for theatre, church and Chapel Royal. Dido and Aeneas was the first British opera. ” 2:12 o 3. Purcell “held various posts as singer, organist, and composer. [His] works cover a wide range, from the massive contrapuntal choruses of the religious anthems and the odes in honor of his royal masters. ” 1:106 o 4. One of Purcell’s most famous operas is Dido and Aeneas which was presented at a boarding school for girls by the students to “a select audience of their parents and friends. 1:107 o 5. Summary of Dido and Aeneas? : “Aeneas and his men are shipwrecked on the shores of Carthage. Dido, the Carthagenian Queen, falls in love with him; he returns her affection. But he cannot forget that the gods have commanded him to continue his journey until he reaches Italy; it is his ‘manifest destiny’ to be the founder of Rome. Mush as he hates to hurt the Queen, he knows that he must depart; she too ultimately realizes that she must let him go. She prepares to meet her fate in the moving lament that is the culminating point of the opera, “When I am laid in Earth. ” o 6. There is a tradition that [Purcell’s] death was occasioned by a cold which he caught in the night, waiting for admittance into his own house. Is is said that he used to keep late hours, and that his wife had given orders to his servants not to let him in after midnight: unfortunately he came home heated with wine from the tavern at an hour later than that prescribed him, and through the inclemency of the air contracted a disorder of which he diedl. ” 2:13 * C. Late Baroque Opera and George Frideric Handel o 1. “Going to an 18th-century Venetian opera was definitely more fun if you were rich.
Rich people sat in private boxes, where they could gamble and have food brought in. They had great fun dropping orange peels and spitting on the peasants below them, often aiming to put out their candles. ” 3:44 o 2. “Opera in the 18th century was quite different from nowadays. Back then the audience didn’t even pretend to be listening to the music. They went to socialize, play cards, eat and flirt with whomever caught their fancy. The singers didn’t help matters. They would bring their favorite arias with them and insert then into the action, even if the aria was from a different opera. ” 3:58 o 3.
In the midst of a heated rivalry between two prima donnas, “The audience got so heated that a fight broke out, followed by one on stage, with the two sopranos going at each other tooth and nail. Some people take their entertainment very seriously. ” 3:59 o 4. Opera’s “mostly consisted of mostly arias, about 30 of them, in the da capo (a-b-a) form with a built-in repeat. It was like having a guaranteed encore. ” 3:58 o 5. “Opera in the Late Baroque found its master in George Frideric Handel, who, although German by birth, dominated the operatic scene in London during the first decades of the eighteenth century. 1:109 o 6. “Handel’s first two opera were produced in Hamburg: they were a moderate success. ” 3:55 o 7. “Handel played tourist for a while and went off to Venice. In 1709 his opera Agrippina was performed there. The audience loved it so much that they began shouting “Long live the beloved Saxon. ” Handel was in and he knew it. All told, Handel spent about three years in Italy. In addition to the operas, he wrote about 100 cantatas and some church music. And had a good time. ” 3:55 o 8. “In 1710, Handel accepted a job as Kapellmeister to the Elector of Hanover. ” 3:55 o 9. Handel’s dramatic works were in the new vein of opera seria, or serious Italian opera, that projected heroic or tragic subjects. ” 1:109 o 10. Handel was the “son of a [German] barber-surgen… [who] won fame in Italy before becoming Kapellmeister to the Elector of Hanover [Germany], leter [King] George I of England. He emigrated to London ahead of his master and over the next half century produced almost fifty operas. When opera declinded in popularity, Handel recaptured his audiences with a series of oratorios on Biblical themes. ” 2:26 II. II Vocal Music of the Baroque: Bach and the Baroque Cantata * A. The Cantata 1. “The cantata (from the Italian cantare, “to sing”–that is, a piece to be sung) is a work for vocalists, chorus, and instrumentalists based on a poetic narrative of a lyric or dramatic nature. It is generally short and intimate, consisting of several movements including recitatives, arias, and ensemble numbers. ” 1:109 o 2. Cantatas differ from Opera because they “might be based on either secular or sacred themes. In the Lutheran tradition, to which the late Baroque composer Johann Sebastian Bach belonged, the sacred cantata was an integral part of the service, related [to] the sermon and prayers that followed it. and do not employ costumes or scenery. 1:109 o 3. “The German cantata had absorbed the recitative, aria, and duet of the opera; the pomp of the French operatic overture; and the dynamic instrumental style of the Italians. ” * B. The Lutheran Chorale o 1. “A chorale is a hymn tune, specifically one associated with German Protestantism. The Chorales served as the battle hymns of the Reformation. ” 1:110 o 2. “Luther and his fellow reformers created the first chorales. They adapted a number of tunes from Gregorian chant, others from popular sources and from secular art music. ” 1:110 o 3. The melody was put in the soprano, where all could hear it and join in singing. In this way, the chorales greatly strengthened the trend to clear-cut melody supported by the chords (homophonic texture). ” 1:110 * C. Johann Sebastian Bach: His Life and Music: Part 1 o 1. Johann Sebastian Bach (late-17th through mid-18th century) “was born… of a family that had supplied musicians to the churches and town bands of the region for upwards of a century and a half. Left an orphan at the age of ten, he was raised in [a small German town] by an older brother, an organist who prepared him for the family vocation. 1:110 o 2. “At twenty-three he received his first important post: court organist and chamber musician to the Duke of Weimar. ” 1:110-111 o 3. “The Weimar period (early 18th century) saw the rise of his fame as an organ virtuoso and the production of many of his most important works for that instrument. ” 1:111 o 4. “Disappointed because the Duke had failed to promote him, Bach decided to accept an offer from the Prince of Anhalt-Cothen. ” 1:111 o 5. “Bach didn’t leave on the best of terms. He spent nearly a month in jail ‘for too obstinantly requesting his dismissal. While he was under arrest he composed 46 choral preludes, so the time wasn’t completely wasted. ” o 6. “Here he served a prince partial to chamber music. In his five years there… he produced suites, concertos, sonatas for various instruments, and a wealth of keyboard music; also the six concerti grossi (baroque orchestral form where small groups of instruments alternate with large groups of instruments) dedicated to the Margrave of Brandenburg. ” 1:111 o 7. “Bach was thirty-eight when he was appointed to one of the most important posts in Germany, that of Cantor of St. Thomas’s in Leipzig. ” 1:111 o 8. The cantor taught at the choir school of that name, which trained the choristers of the city’s principle churches; and served as music director, composer, choirmaster, and organist of St. Thomas’s. ” 1:111 o 9. “The prime medium for Bach’s talents was the organ. In the field of keyboard music… [an important] work is the Well-Tempered Clavier. ” 1:112 o 10. Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, 300 cantatas, and “the monumental Mass in B minor, which occupied Bach for a good part of the Leipzig period, [however the mass] was inappropriate for the Catholic service due to its length; it found its eventual home in the concert hall. 1:112 o 11. “Bach’s cantatas are generally laid out in anywhere from five to eight movements, of which the first, last, and usually one middle movement are choral numbers. ” 1:112 * D. Johann Sebastian Bach: His Life and Music: Part 2 o 1. “Johann Sebastian’s father, Johann Ambrosius, married Elizabeth Lammerhirt, whose family were prosperous furries and part-time mystics. Johann Ambrosius had a twin brother named Johann Christoph. They looked so much alike that not even their wives could tell them apart.
Johann Ambrosius (or someone who looked just like him) and Elizabeth had three sons: Johann Christoph, Johann Jakob, and Johann Sebastian (In the Bach family, you weren’t anybody unless your name was Johann. )” 3:46 o 2. “For a while, Bach studied organ in Luneberg [Germany] with Georg Bohm, who had been a pupil of a man named J. A. Reinken. Bach walked 30 miles to Hamburg to hear Reingken play. After arriving in Hamburg, Bach was hungry and tired from his long walk, but had no money for ameal. As he tells the story, he was just sitting outside an inn minding his own business, thinking bout food and rubbing his tired feet, when out from an open window were tossed two herring heads. And as if that weren’t enough, each fish head contained [a gold coin]. ” 3:47 o 3. “[Bach’s] first position was as organist and choirmaster of the little church… in Arnstadt. The choir members, all boys, weren’t very good singers and were very rowdy. The young Bach had trouble keeping them in line. His bullish tember didn’t help matters. He once got into a street brawl with one of his choristers, a boy named Geyersbach, who called Bach a “dirty dog. ” Bach had it coming to him.
He had earlier called Geyersbach a… ‘nanny-goat bassoonist. ‘” 3:47 o 4. For the previous confrontation, Bach “was admonished to try and live in peace with his students. Bach’s reaction was to take a prolonged and unauthorized journey to Lubeck, to listen to the organ playing of Buxtehude. ” 2:18 o 5. Bach set out on foot for 200 miles to hear the great concert of Buxtehude. 3:47 o 6. “Since Buxtehude was thinking of retiring, he offered his job to Bach, who was 20. The only catch was that Bach had to marry Buxtehude’s daughter Anna Margreta, who was nearly 30.
This seemed perfectly reasonable to Buxtehude, since he had done exactly the same thing to get the job from his predecessor, Franz Tunder. Bach, however, was not so thrilled by the offer. He said thanks but no thanks. Two other great musicians of the time–Johann Metheson and George Frederick Handel–also turned down the offer of the job complete with wife [mostly because they found her looks objectionable. ] It wasn’t the sort of fringe benefit they had in mind. ” 3:48 o 7. “An amateur who was improvising at the keyboard when Bach entered a crowded room jumped up from his seat [thus creating] a dissonant chord.
Walking straight past his host, Bach rushed to the harpsichord, resolved the dissonance and proceeded with a suitable cadence. Only then did he greet his host. ” 2:19 o 8. “He was so fond of full harmony that, besides a constant and active use of the pedals, he is said to have put down such keys by a stick in his mouth, as neither hands nor feet could reach. ” III. I Vocal Music of the Baroque: Handel and the Baroque Oratorio * A. The Oratorio o 1. “The first oratorios were sacred operas, and were produced as opera. ” 1:116 o 2. Toward the middle of the seventeenth century, the oratorio shed the trappings of the stage and developed its own characteristics as a large-scale musical work for solo voices, chorus, and orchestra, based as a rule on a biblical story and imbued with religious feeling. ” 1:116 o 3. “It was performed in a church or hall without scenery, costumes, or acting. ” 1:116 o 4. “Bach’s Passions represent a special type of oratorio, focusing on the final events of Christ’s life. ” 1:116 * B. George Frideric Handel: His Life and Music o 1.
Although German by birth, George Frideric Handel’s (late-17th through the mid-18th century) career as a composer and musician is most widely known for his time serving in England. o 2. “In 1714, Queen Anne [of England] died and Handel’s boss the Elector of Hanover (surprise, surprise! ) became King George I of England. He couldn’t speak a word of English, but that didn’t seem to bother anybody, least of all George. ” 3:56 o 3. “A lot of people seem to think that George was angry at Handel for having run off on him and the story goes that Handel composed the orchestral suite knwon as the Water Music to get back on George’s good side. 3:56 o 4. “There’s no doubt that George enjoyed the Water Music, which Handel composed for a special royal outing on the Thames [river]. The king and his friends floated down the river eating and drinking, while Handel and 50 musicians floated beside them on another barge, playing dance music. The king liked the music so much that he had it played three times. It was a huge success, although the players got a little wet. ” 3:57 o 5. At first, Handel wrote operas from an Italian tradition, most of which were unsuccessful in England. 1:117 o 6. “Rather than accept failure, Handel turned from opera to oratorio. 1:117 o 7. “Among his greatest achievements in this new genre were Israel in Egypt, Messiah, Judas Maccabaeus, and Jeptha, one of his last works. ” 1:117 o 8. “[Handel’s] art united the beautiful vocal melody of the Italian school with the stately gestures of the French style and the contrapuntal genius of the Germans. To these elements he added the majestic chorale tradition of the English. ” 1:118 o 9. “In the spring of 1742, the city of Dublin hosted the premier of [now] one of the world’s most widely loved works, [the] Messiah. … The first part speaks of the prophecy f the coming of Christ and His birth; the second His suffering, death, and the spread of His doctrine; and the third the redemption of the world through faith. ” 1:118-119 o 10. “On his way to the Dublin premiere of Messiah, Handel stopped off in Chester and assembled a bunch of singers to run through some of the new choruses. One of the basses, a printer named Janson, made so many mistakes that Handel raged at him: ‘I thought you told me you could read music at sight! ‘ ‘Yes, sir, and so I can,’ Janson replied ‘but not at first sight. ” 3:60 o 11. “An English singer… once found fault with [Handel’s] method of accompanying. High words ensued; and [the singer] finished by saying, that if Handel persisted in accompanying him in that manner, he would jump upon his harpsichord and smash it to pieces. ‘Oh! ‘ replied Handel, ‘let me know when you will do that, and I will advertise it; for I am sure more people will come to see you jump, than to hear you sing. ‘” 2:28 o 12. “Handel, as is well know, had such a remarkable irritability of nerves, that he could not bear to hear the tuning of instruments, and therefore, this was always done before he arrived at the theater.
A musical wag, determined to extract some mirth from his irascibility of temper, stole into the orchestra, one night when the Prince of Wales was to be present, and untuuned all the instruments. As soon as the Prince arrived, Handel gave the signal to begin,… but such was the horrible [sound], that the enraged musician started up from his seat, and, having overturned a double-bass which stood in his way, he seized a kettle-drum, which he threw with such violence at the leader of the band, that he lost his full-bottomed wig in the effort.
Without wating to replace it, he advanced bare-headed to the front of the orchestra, breathing vengeance, but so much choked with passion that utterance was denied him. In this ridiculous attitude he stood staring and stamping for some moments, amidst the general convulsion of laughter; nor could he be prevailed upon to resume his seat, until the Prince went in person, and with much difficulty appeased his wrath. ” 2:28 o 13. Handel “placed no small happiness in good eating and drinking. ” Once, he received a private amount of champaigne which he saved for his own consumption. Some time after, when a party was dining with him, he longed for a glass of his choice champaigne, but could not easily think of a device for leaving the company” and didn’t want to share it with them. “On a sudden he assumed a musing attitude, and, striking his forehead with his forefinger, exclaimed, “I have a thought! I have a thought! ” The company, imagining that he had gone to commit to paper some divine idea, saw him depart with silent admiration. He returned to his friends, and very soon had a second, third, and fourth “thought”.
A wag suspecting the frequency of [his departures], followed Handel to an adjoining room, saw him enter a closet, embrace his beloved champaigne, and swallow repeated doses. The discovery communicated infinite mirth to the company, and Handel’s “thought” became proverbial. ” 2:29 o 14. “Finding it convenient to dine at a tavern, he ordered dinner for three. The repast was so long in preperation that he grew impatient and sent for the host. ‘Why do you keep me so long waiting? ‘ he asked, with the impetuosity of a hungry man. ‘We are waiting ’till the company arrives,’ said the innkeeper. Then bring up the dinner, [fast],’ said Handel, ‘I am the company. ‘ 2:29 o 15. “One night, when Handel was in Dublin, [Ireland], Dubourg [a vocalist] having a solo part in a song, and a close to make ad libitum, wandered about, in defferent keys, a good while, and seemed indeed a little bewlildered, and uncertain of his original hey; but, at length, coming to the shake which was to terminate this long close, Handel, to the great delight of the audience, cried out, loud enough to be heard in the most remote parts of the theater, ‘You are welcome home, Mr.
Dubourg. ‘” 2:31 o 16. “One Sunday, having attended divine worship at a country church, Handel asked the organist to permit him to play the people out; to which he readily consented. Handel, accordingly, sat down to the organ, and began to play in such a masterly manner, as instantly to attract the attention of the whole congregation, who, instead of vacating their seats as usual, remained for a considerable space of time, fixed in silent admiration.
The organist began to be impatient (perhaps his wife was waiting dinner) and, at length, addressed the great performer, telling him, he was convinced that he could not play the people out, and advised him to relenquish the attempt; for while he played, they would never quit the church. ” 2:32 III. I Instrumental Music of the Baroque: The Baroque Concerto * A. The Rise of Instrumental Music o 1. “The Baroque was the first period in history in which instrumental music was comparable in importance to vocal. ” 1:121 o 2. The growing interest in this branch of the art stimulated the development of new instruments and the perfection of old [ones]. ” 1:121 o 3. Along with the perfection of instruments, forms of instrumental composition were developing to exploit the new and revised instruments. * B. Concerto Types o 1. The Baroque concerto is “an instrumental form based on the opposition between two dissimilar masses of sound. (The Latin verb concertare means “to contend with,”… .)” 1:122 o 2. “Baroque composers produced two types of concerto: the solo concerto and the concerto grosso. 1:122 o 3. The solo concerto: + a. The concerto “for solo instrument and an accompanying instrumental group became an important medium for experimentation in sonority and instrumental virtuosity, especially in the hands of the Italian master Antonio Vivaldi. ” 1:122 + b. “It usually consisted of three movements, in the sequence of allegro-adagio-allegro (fast-moderate-fast), and prepared the way for the violin conerto of the Classic and Romantic periods. ” 1:122 o 4. The concerto grosso: a. “The concerto grosso was based on the opposition between a small group of instruments, the concertino, and a larger group, the tutti or ripieno (Italian for full). ” 1:12 + b. “Bach captured the spirit of the concerto grosso, in which two groups vie with each other in sonorous flights of fancy, in his six Brandenburg Concertos. ” 1:22 o 5. “Of the many Italian masters of the concerto, Vivaldi was the greatest and most prolific. ” 1:122 * C. The Solo Concerto and Arcangelo Corelli o 1.
Arcangelo Corelli’s (mid-17th through the early-18th century) “concerti grossi laid the foundations of the solo concerto. ” 2:11 o 2. Corelli “was requested one evening to play, to a large and polite company, a fine solo which he had lately composed. Just as he was in the midst of his performance, some of the number began to discourse together a little unreasonably; Corelli gently lay down his instrument. He was asked whether any thing was the matter with him. “Nothing,” he replied, “[I am] only afraid that he interrupted conversation. ” 2:11 o 3. Corelli, enjoying ‘the Highest Reputation’ in Rome, was prevailed upon to play at the court of Naples and brought with him as accompanists two members of his own orchestra. He took some convincing from Alessandro Scarlatti and other maestri to perform his concertos before the King: he did not have his own orchestra, he prostested, or enough rehearsal time. But soon he found that the Neapolitan musicians could perform at sight what his Romans required several rehearsals to perfect. The first piece he played was a sonata, which the king found so long and dry that, being tired, he quitted the room to the great mortification of Corelli.
Then Corelli was asked to play a masque by Scarlatti. He failed but was ‘astonished beyond measure’ to heat the the Neapolitan violinist play it to perfection. Finally, he was given a song in C minor; Corelli played C major. ‘Let’s begin again’, said Scarlatti good naturedly. Again Corelli picked the wrong key, until Scarlatti shouted out a correction. Corelli retreated from Naples in disgrace and soon afterwards gave up playing the violin. ” 2:11 * D. Antonio Vivaldi: His Life and Music o 1.
Antonio Vivaldi (late-17th through the mid-18th century) was “ordained in the Church in his twenties, and came to be known a s “the red priest,” an epith